Cross border Social Inclusion Project targets ‘at risk’ groups


Cross border Social Inclusion Project targets ‘at risk’ groups

A new cross border project is delivering health-focused education and training programmes to vulnerable and ‘at risk’ groups across the border counties. Funding totalling £1.75 million has been secured from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme by Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT), the cross border health services partnership. The funding has enabled this 3-year project to get off the ground, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of groups such as vulnerable women and Travellers right across the border corridor.


The project will be delivered in selected geographical areas which have been chosen on the basis of a wide-ranging mapping exercise which helped to identify the areas with greatest need.  In the Western Health and Social Care Trust region the delivery of the project will target primarily the Ballymagroarty, Hazelbank, Rosemount and the Glen areas of the city and also Castlederg via the Derg Healthy Living Centre and Churchtown Community Group. To date four programmes have been delivered to 44 women. This includes a support programme for older women, a carers programme for mothers living with a disabled child and a mental health programme called ‘Rolling with the Punches.’


Welcoming the funding Paula Cunningham, Head of Service Planning in the Western Trust and Project Board member said: “This considerable EU investment enables us to work in close partnership with the community and voluntary sector who are delivering a range of targeted health improvement programmes to some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded people in the Western Trust area. We are delighted that this cross border project is underway and, based on initial feedback, is already making a real difference to participants’ lives.”


Julie Ward, Women’s Project Development Officer said: “This project builds on 10 years of cross border work by Derry Well Woman.  We will continue to lead delivery on the cross border women’s health agenda and the project is committed to working with community/voluntary sector partnerships established by Derry Well Woman.


Project Manager for the CAWT Social Inclusion project, Karen Meehan said: “We are linking in with the community and voluntary sector to deliver these programmes in the Western Trust target areas and throughout the border region. Our team of highly skilled and experienced facilitators are delivering relevant and accessible programmes for women who would benefit from participation in community health based programmes. We are also working closely with local community and voluntary groups, as well as the Western Trust to ensure appropriate referrals to our programmes. So it is a genuine statutory and community partnership approach.”


Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the SEUPB, welcoming the project said: “The EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme places great emphasis on improving access to services to promote the quality of life for those living in the eligible area and promoting co-operation between public bodies and other partners. This project is delivering on both these elements and I look forward to hearing about the results of the project as it is rolled out.”